By DYLAN McGUINNESS
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island's House of Representatives has passed a bill that would prohibit pet shops from selling cats and dogs in Rhode Island unless they come from shelters or rescue organizations.
The House passed the measure Tuesday. A Senate version remains in a committee.
Democratic Rep. Patricia Serpa, the bill's sponsor, says she was motivated by horror stories of puppy mills, where animals are bred in "a terrible fashion."
State Veterinarian Scott Marshall says the legislation won't be effective in protecting dogs from puppy mills. He says rescue organizations increasingly source their animals from the same large-scale breeders that commercial shops use. Commercial shops are more highly regulated than rescue groups, he said.
Scott Angevine owns Family Pet Smart in North Providence. He says the bill would put him out of business.
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